Boeing lands $8.5 billion order

A Japanese aviation leasing company has ordered 80 of the newest version of Boeing’s popular 737 jetliner.

The order for Boeing 737 Max 8 jets is valued at $8.5 billion at list prices. Most large customers, however, receive undisclosed discounts from list prices.

SMBC Aviation Capital is the 50th customer for Boeing’s 737 Max series of aircraft. The Max series, which will debut in airline service in 2017, will incorporate new engines, new split wingtips and aerodynamic improvements designed to bolster the 737’s fuel efficiency by 14 percent compared with the most fuel-efficient single-aisle airliners now available.

Lessors have ordered a total of 421 Boeing Max series planes. Those planes will be built in Boeing’s Renton plant where the company is raising production rates to 52 monthly by 2018.

SMBC has 220 aircraft on order from several manufacturers. Besides the 737 Max 8 order, the company has 14 existing orders for Boeing 737-800 aircraft and 110 orders for the Airbus A320neo. The A320neo is Airbus’ rival to the Boeing 737 Max 8.